Abortion and America's ethical consciousness.
Fecha 12/6/2018 7:00:00 | Categoría: Otros temas
|Munday RS. Abortion and America's ethical consciousness. Health Matrix. 1989 Summer;7(2):25-32.|
America's practice of abortion is not merely a matter of medical technology but of a changing ethical consciousness. The continuing dispute over legalized abortion since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade is a conflict between two historically different ethical views of human life. This survey shows the nature and history of this conflict and its implications for America's future.
A historical survey of the ethics of abortion from ancient Greece through early Christian writers to early American and ending with contemporary American ethicists shows a growing trend toward ethical consciousness of respect for human life. Both Plato and Aristotle wrote of state regulation of procreation by abortion and infanticide. Hippocrates' oath proscribes abortion. Roman physicians used abortion. Early Christian writers such as Barnabas, Athenagoras and Tertullian followed the Hebrew precedent, supporting the sanctity of human life. No laws regarding abortion were encoded in the U.S. until the mid 19th century. In 1967, Colorado passed the 1st permissive abortion law: until then abortion was illegal in all states. The Roe v. Wade decision, as President Reagan wrote in "Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation," denied the personhood of the fetus and permitted abortion on demand by its broad definition of the mother's health. This decision is part of a trend that could be called the utility or Hegelian ethic, in evidence since the Nazi regime began its holocaust by killing off handicapped and useless Aryan Germans. Despite the increasing incidence of euthanasia, infanticide and abortion-on-demand, the sanctity of life ethic is beginning to have a resurgence, shown by the Webster case, the annual March for Life in Washington, and "Operation Rescue" demonstrations on the part of 32 million abortion victims.